FARS - Firefighter Air Replenishment System

I am curious if anyone on here has had to include FARS in your estimate? If so what is electrical responsible for? Last year the install of this system in mid-rises and high-rises became a code requirement, but the biggest problem is no one seems to know who is responsible for what. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Last year the install of this system in mid-rises and high-rises became a code requirement. . . .
What code? I took a quick look through the Seattle Fire Code, and did not see such a requirement. I doubt this would be in an electrical code. I didn't look at state codes. What can you tell us about the source of this "code requirement"?
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
from http://rescueair.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/ScottSafetyWhitePaperFARSL.pdf

Based on recommendations from the ICC Fire Code Action Committee (FCAC) and the IAFC Fire and Life Safety Section, Firefighter Air Replenishment Systems (FARS) have been added to Appendix L of the 2015 International Fire Code. This change is meant to promote the use of and standardize the installation criteria of the Firefighter Air Replenishment System (FARS). It is expected that this will become a permanent part of the code within the next few years.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
from http://rescueair.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/ScottSafetyWhitePaperFARSL.pdf

Based on recommendations from the ICC Fire Code Action Committee (FCAC) and the IAFC Fire and Life Safety Section, Firefighter Air Replenishment Systems (FARS) have been added to Appendix L of the 2015 International Fire Code. This change is meant to promote the use of and standardize the installation criteria of the Firefighter Air Replenishment System (FARS). It is expected that this will become a permanent part of the code within the next few years.
This looks like the breathing air industry's version of AFCI. Any firefighters out there having real-world experience with and without these systems?
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
I'm wondering how well it survives in a burning building-- it would have to have valving to keep the surviving pieces working when some floors were engulfed.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
I'm wondering how well it survives in a burning building-- it would have to have valving to keep the surviving pieces working when some floors were engulfed.
If I had to guess, the standpipe would have to be in a 2-hour rated chase.
 

Todd0x1

Member
As much as I hate anything that adds cost to a new building, this actually seems like a pretty good idea. Having read the incident report of a highrise fire in Los Angeles in the 1990s, reading about the trouble they were having delivering enough air bottles and seeing a photo of the mountain of empty air bottles piled up on their staging floor I can see the utility of having this thing -though hopefully it will never have to get used.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
As much as I hate anything that adds cost to a new building, this actually seems like a pretty good idea. Having read the incident report of a highrise fire in Los Angeles in the 1990s, reading about the trouble they were having delivering enough air bottles and seeing a photo of the mountain of empty air bottles piled up on their staging floor I can see the utility of having this thing -though hopefully it will never have to get used.
If there was a "mountain of empty air bottles", that suggests no local means of recharging whatsoever. Even the podunk local volunteer unit in my home town has a portable means of recharging. I know how poorly building owners keep their fire alarm systems; I can't begin to imagine the issues this will have, especially for something than might be unused for years and then suddenly be called into action.
 

Todd0x1

Member
If there was a "mountain of empty air bottles", that suggests no local means of recharging whatsoever. Even the podunk local volunteer unit in my home town has a portable means of recharging. I know how poorly building owners keep their fire alarm systems; I can't begin to imagine the issues this will have, especially for something than might be unused for years and then suddenly be called into action.
The mountain of air bottles was on a floor of the building ~12? stories up, they were probably coming from a fire dept portable refilling apparatus on the street, hand carried up a couple hundred feet. Here in LA there is annual testing of all fire life safety systems (they shut the building's power down, run fire pumps, check every F/A device, everything) so in theory the FARS would be tested annually.
 

GeorgeB

ElectroHydraulics engineer (retired)
As I read the initial post, I thought a compressed air source on site was required. As I dug deeper, it became obvious that air lines and gas monitoring was the requirement, and a mobile compressor/tank would hook to the building at (or near) grade level. I'm not sure why the quality monitoring would be necessary; that should be a part of the truck's function.

A pressure test (probably not hydrostatic, especially if air quality equipment is required) periodically performed by firefighters, would seem appropriate.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
As I read the initial post, I thought a compressed air source on site was required. As I dug deeper, it became obvious that air lines and gas monitoring was the requirement, and a mobile compressor/tank would hook to the building at (or near) grade level. I'm not sure why the quality monitoring would be necessary; that should be a part of the truck's function.

A pressure test (probably not hydrostatic, especially if air quality equipment is required) periodically performed by firefighters, would seem appropriate.
They do show some storage tanks which are supposed to supply air until the mobile compressor unit arrives and is connected. I assume then that the system is always pressurized by the local supply. They show the monitoring at the outside connection location and at the local storage tank location.

-Hal
 
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